Hyderabad: If you are the kind who loves to chat away with friends for hours together, talk a lot over the phone and scream often at others, then it would be better to give your tired vocal cords a bit of rest. Even for school teachers, singers, speakers, children and mothers who often speak a lot, observing a few minutes of silence will go a long way in avoiding injuries to vocal cords.
Senior ENT surgeons in Hyderabad are reporting a sharp rise in the vocal cord polyps and nodules among school teachers, human resource managers, instructors, singers, school students, teenagers and mothers.
While the condition of developing vocal polyps and nodules is relatively less known and often less talked about, if left unchecked and untreated, it has potential long term ramifications on person’s ability to talk properly. “We are seeing a lot of teachers, children, instructors and singers who develop polyps in their due to vocal abuse. Many even do not know that they have a polyp till their voice becomes hoarse and they have difficulty to speak,” says senior ENT Surgeon, Dr C Anjaneyelu of Asia ENT Care Centre.
The most common activities that trigger polyps include smoking, allergies, singing, talking loudly, anchoring and drinking a lot of alcohol and caffeine, which usually dries out the throat and vocal cords.
Polyps can appear on one or both the vocal cords and they appear as a swelling or even a nodule or stalk-like growth. “Polyps are also very common among smokers. However, for the smoker, we also have to test for the presence of cancer cells. But, by and large, a majority of the polyps that are formed on the vocal cords are benign in nature,” Dr Anjaneyelu said.
According to ENT surgeons, if persons experience hoarseness in their voice for more than two weeks, then they need meet an expert physician for a thorough evaluation of their voice and vocal cord evaluation.
“If the polyps are in early stage, then we can go for conservative treatment and avoid taking surgical procedures. Conservative treatment involves asking the patients to talk less, medications, consuming more water, avoiding stress etc,” the ENT surgeon said.
Usually, polyps of size anywhere between 1 cm and 2 cm can be treated conservatively and a surgery can be avoided. However, when the polyps grow and their size ranges between 4 cm and 5 cm, then it becomes mandatory the ENT specialists conduct surgery for the removal.
Hoarseness in voice, breathiness, rough and scratchy voice, harshness, pain in the ears, a sensation of a lump in the throat, neck pain, pitch range decreases, voice and body fatigue.
Talking loudly, smoking, singing, instructing or caching, consuming alcohol and coffee
Teachers, instructors, singers, anchors, children who speak loudly, mothers
Work to relieve stress, stop smoking, hydrate vocal cords, avoid acidity, reduce intestinal gasses.
If polyps are small, treatment can be done conservatively involving medicines and precautions.
Surgery is mandatory for polyps that are of a size between 4 cm and 5 cm.
The procedure can be done in an hour and patient discharged on the same day.
After the procedure, patients not allowed to talk for a week.
If needed, vocal therapy to regain original voice.